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In the Hands of the Enemy  by meckinock 46 Review(s)
SuzelleReviewed Chapter: 12 on 10/31/2019
Okay. So. I very clearly remember first reading this fic when it was first published in...god, the timestamp says 2003?? Which would have been when I'd gotten into Tolkien fandom for the first time and I was an impressionable young teenager. I remember ADORING this story and Halbarad and Gandalf and all the rest. But I had not read it since! In a fit of nostalgia this past weekend I tracked it down and I was SO happy it was still posted and SO glad that it was just as delightful as I remember it being. I think this story unconsciously informed a lot of my own development as a writer, especially in terms of Halbarad and Aragorn's relationship. There were so many instances I was laughing out loud because of the Halbarad-Gandalf shenanigans, and this last chapter in particular was...*chef's kiss*. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us; it was wonderful then and it's wonderful now.

Author Reply: You're making me cry, for so many reasons. I have so many wonderful memories of that time and hearing from you brings them all back again. Thank you. I'm interested in hearing about your writing and I'll reach out to you on your e-mail from my meckinock email address.

ReaderKitReviewed Chapter: 12 on 1/8/2015
Hehe, this chapter's end was so hilarious! Kudos. The entire tale was good, and the parallels between Rolly and Tillfield were thought-provoking. I am glad to see how Aragorn sometimes despaired of ever achieving his destiny, and how Gandalf would hit him over the head for being a fool. And yay Halbarad!

Author Reply: Thanks for the review! I'm sorry the reply is so late; I don't monitor this e-mail address like I should. I'm glad you liked the story.

MP brennanReviewed Chapter: 12 on 2/5/2013
I'm so glad I stumbled across this! It's excellent. It's deftly plotted and perfectly paced. You had me guessing with just about every chapter. Your style is so engaging and immersive--I got lost in this fic.

The original characters just leapt off the page. Gotta love Tillfield! ;) Rolly absolutely broke my heart, particularly his last words to Aragorn. His conflict comes through so clearly with so little explanation. And the dynamics between the canon characters are note-perfect.

Anyway, I know you posted this forever-ago, but I just wanted to say well done!

Author Reply: Thank you for the kind review - I'm sorry the reply is so late in coming. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. It's hard to believe the kitten I named after Rolly is now 11 years old.

alpestarsReviewed Chapter: 12 on 1/1/2008
Very delightful fic. Thanks for the story. I admire your skill in weaving a good story and your creativity in coming up with that scene between Aragorn, Halbarad, the hobbit, and Gandalf in the last chapter.

Author Reply: Thank you so much! I'm very pleased you enjoyed the story, and especially the last chapter. It was nice to end the story on a light note.

nautikaReviewed Chapter: 12 on 2/13/2007
This was a wonderful story. I just finished it and am already printing the story about their return to Rivendell. I really enjoyed Halbarad and Gandalf together and your original Hobbit, too! I was undecided through the whole story as to whether the boy was good or bad. I knew it was he that knocked Strider out, but then I'd change my mind, then I'd change it again.

I was really glad to have the other story to print because i have *not* had a good afternoon! Thanks for sharing!


Author Reply:
Hi, Nautika,

Thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. This one at least had a few lighter moments, unlike the one-shots. I didn't realize Gandalf and Halbarad would be such a hoot together until I started writing them - they were a lot of fun for me, too. And I'm glad you liked Dudo. As far as being undecided about Rolly being good or bad, well, he was, too, up until the end. In the end he chose loyalty to his master over the forgiveness and love that were being offered to him by Aragorn and Gandalf. Sometimes I want to go back and write an AU where he chooses differently :-) Anyhow, thanks for reading and reviewing.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 12 on 6/23/2006
Now that my head doesn't hurt anymore, after a long session of desk banging, (how could I have missed this!)I think I can write this so long due review.

I am too picky with my ff reading, I have not much time and I am easily bothered by small details that, to my view, are out of character. So it is absolutely my fault that I let pass jewels like this. (Although I must say that I discovered ff about a year and half ago, so my knowledge is far from vast...and closer to limited by my own prejudices.. :-)

It was Daw who pointed me to your stories some weeks ago, saying that you were the best fanfiction writer she knew of, so it was a worthy recommendation! And then I read Karen's tale for the last birthday's party and that kind of finally did the trick.

I really loved the tale, Meckinock. I'm deeply amazed and healthily jealous of your writing, how fluently description puts the nail into the mood of the situation, how landscape becomes a part of the tale, and how characters interact in such a natural way.Dialogues are fast and significant and the quick retorts and the dry sense of humour always manage to catch me.

And then the characters. Your Halbarad is an archetype, and a good man in essence, with an urgency, and a mission, and a great, generous view on life and his own place in it, despite his own misjudgings and his close-to-earth approach. Rolly was deep in his conflict and a fantastically well-developed character. Dudo is simply amazing, I cannot fathom how you managed to get into his mind like that but he is superb, and Aragorn is very much Aragorn, and that's all that is needed.

Yet to me the most amazing surprise was Gandalf. He comes out exactly as I always guessed he would be, and there are glimpses of his own nature, his own conflict, his inability to be what he may instinctively know he is, a great being confined to a mortal -and old- body, and yet he stubbornly does what he thinks needs to be done with what he has at hand. His dry sense of humour, his brusqueness, his compassionate approach to the task at hand really moved me, and I think that you nailed him down perfectly, the only Maiar who kept true to their mission, selfless service to the forces of good in Middle-earth.

It has been a really rewarding reading, and I must say that since I rather enjoy reading stories as a whole, for the chapter to chapter thing at times makes me lose concentration ( I'm a greedy reader...) I do not mind that it took me so long to find this out, for I had the pleasure of reading it in long shots during a few days!

Congratulations for such an excellent tale. I'm now trying t decide if I go to the next one or just give you time to finish it, although I doubt I shall have the willpower to resist! :-)

Author Reply: Give your head a rest, Perelleth! I'm sure there are plenty of gems out there that I've overlooked or simply don't have/make time to read. Multi-chapter stories, especially, get to be a commitment and sometimes with our busy lives we tend to shy away from one more of those, I think. And then we all get into our genre ruts. I know I do! I must remember to thank Daw for pointing this out to you. I'm very glad you enjoyed it. Sounds like you could use a diversion after all your globe-trotting.

It's actually extra special to get such a nice review so long after the story was originally published. You know, these things are our babies, and sometimes it seems like fan fiction is performance art - once a story leaves the front page it's gone and forgotten, and oftentimes when people find an older story there's not the same inclination to leave a review because it's not the flavor of the day. Writing this story was one of the single best experiences of my life - I felt like a kid in a toy store and I really tried to stretch my meagre skills as far as they would go. So glad you enjoyed it!

The sequel is about 3/4 done. If you normally like to read straight through, I'm hoping to finish it by the end of July. But I'm notoriously unreliable.

RSReviewed Chapter: 12 on 12/4/2005
PERFECT!!! What a magnificent way to end this lovely story!! Aragorn laughing. Such a jovial ending after reading so much angst and sadness. I wanted to leave a review after each chapter but I just got into "the groove" and didn't want to ruin it (although I still had to stop and make dinner for my family...I didn't forget this time!). I've fallen in love with Dudo. I wish he would spring to life so I can pick him up and hug him!!! Your OC's are wonderful and so realistic!! I was saddened by Rolly's decision. I couldn't help but feel for him. What a powerful character! His last statements to ARagorn...WOW!!. Such loyalty! Halbarad has become one of my favorite characters (next to Aragorn of course). I enjoyed Halbarad's tracking of Aragorn and his admiration for Aragorn's skill for decapitation (I got a kick out of that one)! I love the comradery and loyalty between Aragorn and Halbarad. Their quick wittedness had me in stitches. They are the definition of true friendship. Gandalf of course was true to character. I marvel at such a wonderful story and at the person who wrote this. I hope there's more plots and stories in that brilliant mind of yours so we can read more gems like this in the future. Can't wait for your update on "A Matter of Honor". Bob Pearblossom....Hmph!!..BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

Author Reply: Wow. Forget feeding your kids; you keep throwing around words like "perfect" and "brilliant" and I'll just start having food delivered to your house every night.

I love Dudo, too (although it was totally an accident) and I hated losing Rolly. But I kept his options open until the end and decided that Saruman had such a strong hold on him that he couldn't find his way back, even though he wanted to. I had such a wonderful time writing this story, and it thrills me to no end when someone discovers it after all this time -especially someone as enthusiastic as you! Halbarad isn't terribly fond of that nickname - he's going to try to hand it off soon. I'm so glad you found both stories, and thanks for your reviews. They put a big grin on my face.

lindahoylandReviewed Chapter: 12 on 9/13/2005
This was such a touching chapter,especially the foreshadowing and Aragorn's scenes with Halbarad and Dudo.
I have loved this story and am eagerly awaiting your next chapter of "A matter of Honour"
Thank you so muchfor a wonderful read.

Author Reply: Linda,
I'm so sorry; I just came to the review page to answer a review and saw that I did'nt reply to this review. Thanks for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed the story, and I apologize for taking so long to respond.


Rose SaredReviewed Chapter: 12 on 6/30/2005
Oh bother, I finished it. Just the most wonderful, gritty tale, my dear. I was going to save reading this for a day or so but then Imrahoil forbid me to read it because she wanted me to keep writing my own story. Well show a dog a bone!
Your imagery is superb, your pacing and plotting to die for, and your Middle- earth a desperate and precious place. Please hurry to write more so I can spend more time in these truly great character's company.
You are a gem

Author Reply:

I'm so sorry for the late reply -I was out of town when you left this review and somehow missed review alert when I got back. A desperate and precious place -that's very poetic! It's going to get more desperate before it gets poetic, I think. Thanks so much.

ImrahoilReviewed Chapter: 12 on 6/14/2005
Hello Meckinock

It's Tuesday, at least, in good old Germany it's Tuesday. What about your part of the United States of America? Or did you perhaps mean another Tuesday (you'd better not)?

Imrahoil, no Bambi eyes this time, but hollering for all she is worth

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